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UNICEF: Water crisis puts millions of Lebanese at risk

July 22, 2022 at 11:29 am

Fishing boats float on the artificial Qaraoun lake in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley [JOSEPH EID/AFP via Getty Images]

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has warned that the water crisis in Lebanon puts the health of millions of people, especially children, at risk.

UNICEF said in a new report titled “Struggling to keep the taps on” that “the prospects for a solution will remain bleak, as the lack of electricity makes it impossible to pump enough water, and in some cases causes pumping to stop completely,”, noting that Lebanon has managed to prevent the complete collapse of its water infrastructure.

The report warned that millions of people in the country are currently affected by the limited availability of clean and safe water, adding that water supply systems continue to teeter on the edge of a precipice, putting the health of millions of people, especially children, at risk.

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According to the report, the rise in global oil prices has exacerbated the economic collapse in the country while the coronavirus pandemic has made the matter worse.

Last year, UNICEF warned that Lebanon’s water system had reached a breaking point and called for the urgent restoration of energy supplies, to keep the water services operating in the country.

The energy crisis in Lebanon is one of the repercussions of a severe economic and financial crisis that the country has been witnessing for more than two and a half years, with electricity cut most of the day.

The Lebanese economic crisis has caused a decline in foreign currency reserves and depleted foreign exchange, limiting the ability to import the fuel needed to operate power plants.